Every year visitors from all over the world come to St. Martin, a relaxed Caribbean vacation destination with a glamorous European feel. The St. Martin half of the island is under French control while the St. Maarten half of the island is under Dutch control. Most visitors agree that the French side feels distinctly like the luxurious French Riviera, as opposed to the Dutch side, which offers a bustling cruise ship port and upscale shopping districts.
Both sides of the island offer family-friendly beaches and postcard perfect views of Caribbean sailboats and blue waves. Relax here during the day and enjoy the fun activities around the bay and St. Martin marinas. Wake up in your luxury vacation rental and enjoy breakfast on your villa balcony overlooking the ocean; then wander downtown to Marigot, the French capital, and catch a ferry to St. Barths or the other nearby Caribbean islands. After the sun goes down, head toward the neighborhood of Grand Case for an unforgettable dining experience at one of the area's world class French restaurants. Then stay out late and enjoy the energetic, glittering nightlife, which includes the entertaining bars and live music venues of Marigot and Cupecoy. When you're ready to fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves, retreat to your private condo and relax in style.
Here are a few additional suggestions as you plan your trip:
-Go scuba diving: St. Martin is one of the best places to scuba dive in the Caribbean. Explore the dazzling biodiversity of the reef ecosystems and have close encounters with colorful fish and other marine life.
-Charter a boat: Go on a snorkeling and dolphin watching excursion.
-Tour a museum or plantation: St. Martin is home to several local museums and preserved historic sugar plantations that offer guided tours. Learn more about the history of this unique island and its inhabitants.
-Take a deep sea fishing trip: Charter a fishing trip and leave early in the morning to pursue elusive billfish and big game species beyond Orient Bay.
-Experience St. Martin golf: Tee off on some of the beautifully maintained emerald green golf courses around St. Martin and Orient Bay.
-Go shopping: Stroll the high end shops and explore the busy port life of the Dutch side of the island. Get caught up in the festive party atmosphere in the neighborhoods of Maho and Simpsons Bay.
Come to St. Martin to enjoy breathtaking natural beauty and a fun Caribbean atmosphere. You'll find glamour and elegance everywhere here as well as the perfect vacation rental that offers all the luxury amenities you need. Host your family and friends in an elegant condo on the busy Dutch side of the island or look for a tranquil villa within steps of the beach on the French side. While you're visiting St. Martin, you may also want to explore popular nearby Caribbean destinations like St. Kitts and St. Barths.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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